By CBSLA Staff

SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) — Ben Daidone has been a salon owner for years. Recently, he moved his salon into a larger space in Santa Monica to serve his growing clientele and employees.

When the pandemic shut his salon down, he said he was somehow able to stay afloat. Now, since salons were once again ordered to close their doors, he’s not sure his business can make it much longer.

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“It’s an enormous hardship on everybody concerned,” he said. “We’re actually trying to build and we’re going backwards.”

By law, California salons are supposed to operate indoors. However, Daidone and other fellow hair stylists are asking the state for special permission to move outdoors in order to stay open in light of increasing restrictions.

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“It would put food on the table for a lot of us hair dressers,” he said.

A trade group representing barbershops, hair salons, and nail salons, sent an urgent appeal — co-signed by Assemblyman Jim Patterson of Fresno — to Gov. Newsom on Thursday, asking for the rule change.

“Our primary goal is to resume our salon businesses,” said Fred Jones, an attorney representing the stylists. “However, in the meantime, can we at least be treated with the same level [as] other non-essential industries?”

Jones pointed to restaurants moving their operations outside as an example, since many are moving tables to parking lots and sidewalks in order to serve guests.

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“Allow us the same privilege, Governor Newsom,” Jones said.